The Department of Defense (DOD) is going full speed ahead in its efforts to establish pro-war propaganda organizations to target youth. One such organization is the Together for Freedom (TFF) campaign.

The purpose of this organization, as noted in the TFF website (www.togetherforfreedom.org) is to “promote patriotism through actions and deeds” and “increase communication to and support for our military troops.”

This front organization, just like the Ad Council, is functioning as a propaganda machine, spewing forth slogans of “freedom” and “liberty” while supporting U.S. imperialism.

When you log onto the TFF website, you are greeted by a “Get Your Freedom Bracelet today!” advertisement. It seems our faithful patriots of U.S. imperialism now employ cereal box sales ploys to get our attention. When you click on the link, discerning consumers of patriotism can choose from three shiny bracelets engraved with “United We Stand” – in silver, silver-plated or copper. The website tells us that “The Freedom Bracelet is worn as a symbol of the freedom we enjoy as Americans. It should serve as a reminder that our freedom must never be taken for granted.”

Not only do you have the opportunity to purchase a good dose of freedom and patriotism at the TFF website, you can also educate yourself with the “Patriotic Quiz.” The quiz presents 10 true-or-false questions, like this one: “Richard Nixon had a swimming pool built in the White House. T or F?” Surely, a question every patriot must know!

Also, the website leads our aspiring patriots to a link of “Books and Periodicals” with great titles like, “Sons of Liberty” and “War Comes to Willy Freeman.”

The website received praise from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in a recent news brief. Rumsfeld said, “I commend the Together For Freedom organization for initiating a national dialogue about the meaning of freedom and the importance of patriotism, and increasing support for our troops at home and abroad.”

Of course, as the website tells us, TFF is an “independent entity, without allegiance to any one political, economic or social viewpoint.”

As we see older propaganda machines like the Ad Council switch its gears back to the days when it was the “War Advertising Council” – bringing war, violence and racism to a theater near you – we must be aware, be very aware of “independent entities” like the TFF.

Michael Feldman is a student at Manhattan Marymount College in New York.

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